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Snarling fashion

A mad dog theme, a late start and a whole lot of drama was part of the fall-winter 2011-2012 menswear collection showcased in Paris

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Published: Sun 23 Jan 2011, 8:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:10 AM

THE 2007 MARC Jacobs show that started two hours late is the stuff of fashion legend. It looked likely that Givenchy’s fall-winter 2011-2012 menswear show on Friday would also pass into the annals of “la mode,” after the fuses blew, plunging the crowd of fashion insiders into the dark and delaying the show by a whopping hour-and-a-half.

By the time the it got rolling, the show’s theme — mad dogs — matched the audience’s mood: Bermuda shorts and silk shirts printed with rabid Rottweilers have never looked so appropriate for an occasion.

Across town — and off to a late start, thanks to Givenchy — British madcap John Galliano was up to his usual theatrical high jinx with a Rudolf Nureyev-themed collection that included a mini blizzard and sweaty, bare-torsoed ballet dancers.

Utilitarian garb for the urban sophisticate was on offer at Dior Homme designer Kris Van Assche’s signature line, while Brazil’s Gustavo Lins showed off the skills he honed in architecture school.


You know it’s a Galliano show when clomping Russian emigres, tin cups tied to their waists and pots and pans strapped to their backs, share the catwalk with sixties swingers in painted-on pants and sweaty ballet dancers swathed in knit leggings.

For the theatrical blockbuster of a show, the British designer looked to dancer Rudolf Nureyev for a collection steeped in Russian sensibility.

Models in oversized fur hats and pasted-on beards, various utensils tied to their body with string, opened the show, braving a blizzard of fake snow that stuck to their oversized woolen coats as they stomped down the runway.


The West Coast hip hop-inspired shirt and short ensembles — paired with tights, in a concession to winter weather — were printed with growling Rottweilers, bits of foam flying from their menacing canines.

Dog collars were naturally the accessory of choice.

Fur was also de rigeur. Boxy beaver coats were worn with matching beaver backpacks and fur baseball caps, pimped up with dog ears. The label’s Italian-born designer picked up on the layered outerwear vibe that’s permeated Paris collections from Louis Vuitton to Issey Miyake, piling leather blazers on top of bulky fur coats.


The storied house churned out smart suits and sharp coats for office hacks. In charcoal and static-y gray, the three-button jackets were paired with slim trousers and button-down cardigans.

There were a few edgy pieces thrown in for good measure — think a sober blazer in gray flannel with quilted leather sleeves that looked as if they’d been shorn off a motorcycle jacket, metal stud-covered ties and fuzzy earmuff-headphone hybrids.

But on the whole the collection was a safe commercial bet in trying times for retail.

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